Meru Foundation eTORUS(tm)
Number 19 – 28 February 2004
Copyright 2003 Meru Foundation
Edited by Cynthia Tenen
Stan and I are spending the winter in Massachusetts, working regularly
with our Sharon Colloquium study group, with very productive results.
We are studying primary texts (Talmud, Zohar, e.g.) using (and
refining) Meru's findings on the "matrix of meaning" for the Hebrew
letters, and uncovering references in these primary texts to the same
structures of logic that our research has found in the letter-sequence
at the beginning of Genesis. We intend to incorporate this new work
into Stan's book-in-progress, due out later this year.
Over the past six months, I have spent many hours reaching out by phone
to people on our mailing lists -- those of you who have ordered Meru's
videos and other materials, or who have otherwise expressed serious
interest. I have had the pleasure of speaking with people from Maine to
Hawaii, and learning once again how many and varied your backgrounds
and talents are, and your reasons for being attracted to this work.
This contact is very valuable to me personally, and for Meru as an
organization. I have implemented some of your suggestions as to how to
make it easier for people to support our Foundation -- for example, we
now offer a "monthly pledge" option via PayPal (see the button at the
top of <http://www.meru.org>.) And
Stan and I are always heartened by your words of support and
encouragement, and your enthusiasm for letting others know about our
I would like to be able to reach more of you, and speak with you
personally. But since we switched over to an emailed newsletter, many
of the phone numbers I have for you (some going back to the mid 1990's)
no longer work. And some of you, we only know via email. If you live in
the US or Canada, and would like me to contact you by phone to discuss
our work, our materials, and how you can help to spread the word about
this research, please email me your contact information, and I'll give
you a call. --Cynthia Tenen
To email your contact information, click here: <http://www.meru.org/contactinfo.html>
WORDS: AN ESSAY FOR PURIM by Stan Tenen
Purim, a Jewish holiday based on the Book of Esther, is celebrated this
year on March 6-7. This holiday -- on the surface, a cheerful
celebration of how Queen Esther of Persia, a Jewish woman, averted
disaster for her entire people (in about 355 BCE) -- also has
kabbalistic aspects. (For example, it is a traditional teaching in
Judaism that in Messianic times, the only Jewish holiday which will
still be celebrated is Purim -- which of course is not even mentioned
in the Bible, since it occurs in historical times.)
On Purim, children dress in costumes; editors publish humorous "Purim
issues" of newspapers (similar to "April Fools" editions), and
celebrations are held by one and all. One traditional family custom
involves eating a triangular cookie -- "Hamentaschen" -- whose shape is
supposedly reminiscent of the three-cornered hat of the Purim villian,
Haman (or sometimes his ears -- neither of which, by the way, are ever
mentioned in the Book of Esther). It is our thesis that one way
traditional knowledge of the models and math known in earlier times is
preserved is in the rituals of our traditions, the customs, and the
foods. (The braiding of challah bread for the Sabbath, for example, may
be a reminder of the alphabet tetrahelix.)
So -- what about the folded-over three-cornered Hamentaschen-cookie of
Purim, with its sweet, dark jam filling?
Below are excerpts from Stan Tenen's essay, "Eating Our Words." The
complete essay is at <http://www.meru.org/eatingwords.html>
PS - I'm not familiar with this the rest of this site, but you will
find a recipe for Hamentaschen, and additional information about the
holiday of Purim, at http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday9.htm
from EATING OUR WORDS, (c)2002, 2004 Stan Tenen
. . . The first thing we do in life is to come into this world. In this
way, the nascent "we" (really hardly more than our bodies' movements)
learn "in" and "out." We repeat this by eating -- taking food from
outside, inside. This is the source of our cognition. Whenever we eat,
we think -- and we lay down the neural traces of new memories,
experiences, and examples of what and how we eat. Ultimately we learn
to be able to think about how we obtain our food, how we prepare our
food, how we share our food, and the constellation of activities and
abilities that spreads outward from eating, and all other examples of
movement between inside and outside.
[. . .] What can we learn from hamantaschen? First, of course, we need
to presume that there is some particular reason, now lost to us, why
our sages and teachers taught (or merely allowed us to adapt or adopt,
or possibly encouraged) us to make 3-cornered, sweet-filled pastries
from a small flat circular piece of dough. What, if anything, is being
memorialized by this quaint triangular tart?
My examination of the use of geometric metaphor in B'reshit has led me
to consider a range of basic natural geometric forms, and the ways in
which they might have been described and knowledge of them preserved in
traditional teachings -- before there was any generally understood
mathematical language to do the job. Of course, the geometric forms are
only ancillary. They offer a natural, timeless, universal way of
preserving a wide range of spiritual, emotional, and intellectual
teachings -- and it is these teachings, and not the geometry per se,
that are important. In other words, the geometry is necessary, but the
teachings and traditions preserved by the use of geometric metaphor are
what is really important. . .
[For the complete essay, "Eating Our Words," see <http://www.meru.org/eatingwords.html>
HELPING MERU FOUNDATION WITH YOUR FEEDBACK
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We welcome your comments and suggestions, and would like the
to speak with you personally.
If you have comments or questions, please send an email to Cynthia
at email@example.com with your phone
and a good time to call -- or, please call us at 781-784-8902 (Boston
I would like to brainstorm with you.
Thank you for your interest in the work of the Meru Foundation.
The Meru Foundation eTORUS(tm) Newsletter is copyright
2004 Meru Foundation. All rights reserved.
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Meru Foundation research offices:
Research Director: Stan Tenen
Secretary-Treasurer: Levanah (Cynthia) Tenen
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